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Keenan Powell Books In Order

Publication Order of Maeve Malloy Mystery Books

Deadly Solution (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hemlock Needle (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hell and High Water (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Keenan Powell is a crime, thriller, and historical fiction that has won several awards for her work. She was born in Roswell in New Mexico to an Air Force pilot and hence spent much of her childhood moving across the United States. Her family finally made northern California their permanent home and it was while she lived there that she went to San Francisco State University and obtained her Broadcast Communication Arts Bachelor of Science degree. Powell then went to the McGeorge School of Law for her law degree. While in law school, she happened to visit a friend that lived in Anchorage, Alaska and she so loved it that when she graduated, she decided that she wanted to live there. While she has made a name for herself as an author, she started with drawing and painting and this got her a job as an illustrator for “Dungeons and Dragons” while she was still a high schooler. Over the years she has won many awards for her work as she has written several short stories. She is currently writing Ipso Facto a legal column and also blogs with the “Mysteritas.” Powell is still a lawyer in Anchorage and when she is now lawyering or writing her novels, she is playing with paints, studying the concert harp, playing with her Irish Wolfhound, and riding her bike.

Keenan has said that she loves mystery best, which is why she writes murder mysteries in her “Maeve Malloy Mystery” series. She has said that it is only in mystery where she has the opportunity to play a game or provide an opportunity for the readers to solve a puzzle and enjoy a great story. Writing a whodunit, she pits the reader against a puzzle as they try to figure out a mystery. Growing up, she loved to paint and draw and as a seventeen-year-old, she showed some of her drawings to her brother that was making a role-playing game with several of his friends. He asked if he could sketch some dragons and she said she could and it was not long before he found herself drawing for the 1974 edition of “Dungeons and Dragons.” During this time, she was thinking of a career in art and possibly as a high school teacher of art. Since she was just getting out of college, she was not in a hurry to go back. After she graduated with her bachelor’s in broadcast communication and got her law degree too, she decided to move to Anchorage and has never left. As a lawyer, she has practiced in many areas of the law from appeal, civil, administrative, and criminal law. Earlier in her career, she worked defending people charged with high crimes such as murder and hence she knows all about crime. She believes there is a lot of similarity between a murder mystery and the law. It is all about taking a case and finding the evidence to build a narrative. The story that makes the most sense usually wins in court.

In 2009, there were several deaths of the homeless that the Medical Examiner ruled had been caused by natural causes. Soon afterward, Keenan Powell went to an educational seminar, where she learned that the medical examiner may declare death to have been caused by natural causes even without performing an autopsy. It was then that a lightbulb went off in her head as she thought that someone could have killed the homeless and gotten away with it. She was so convinced that the homeless deaths had been the work of a serial killer that she decided to write a book about it. In 2013, she told a friend about her idea of a serial killer killing the homeless and getting exonerated by the medical examiner and she loved it. By chance, the friend had heard of a law seminar about attorneys interested in writing thrillers and told her about it. Keenan attended the seminar in San Diego and pitched the idea that the moderator believed could be turned into something worthwhile. She went back home and wrote “Deadly Solution,” which won the 2015 Malice Domestic-William F. Deek Grant and made the shortlist for the 2014 Pacific Northwest Writers Association literary contest. She also scored a three-book deal with Level Best Books in the same year. “Hemlock Needed,” the second novel in the series was published in 2019 while the third came out in 2020.

Keenan Powell’s “Deadly Solution” the first novel of the “Maeve Malloy Mystery” series is the story of Maeve Malloy. She is a public defender in Anchorage that had been sidelined from her career after being overcome with drink. She is now assigned the task of defending an Aleut Indian who had been charged with assaulting a homeless man until he died. It is a difficult case since the client seems to have blacked out during the event and has now forgotten everything and there had been no witnesses. As Maeve works to keep herself sober, she teams up with Tom Sinclair an investigator as they trawl biker gang hangouts, roadside bars, and homeless camps. When Tom and Maeve learn that there may be a link between the high number of killings among the homeless, they begin searching for the elusive killer. They need to find the man who is targeting the most vulnerable persons in their community.

“Hemlock Needle” by Keenan Powell is the story of Esther Fancyboy. She is a single mother and chief financial officer in Anchorage Alaska that walked out of a party into a bad storm. Everybody had warned her not to leave in such weather but she was determined to leave. She was never seen again and now Evan her son that is seven years old is left all alone. According to the local police, she had extended her party somewhere else but Maeve Malloy who is her best friend believes that something could have happened to her. She is determined to find Esther even though she gets some very bad news when she is accused of something so bad that it could signal the end of her career. When her friend’s body is found in a mound of snow and the leading witness is killed in her presence, Maeve is convinced that her child might be in a lot of danger. Maeve now needs to work hard to save the child, her life, and her career.

Keenan Powell’s “Hell and High Water” opens to Maeve Malloy at a crossroads as she is not sure if she wants to be an attorney anymore. She decides to take a job with a remote lodge as kitchen help as she tries to get her life in order. She never tells her new friends and colleagues about her past as she pretends to be just an ordinary person. But then her cover is blown when the police ask for her help when a tourist is murdered during a storm. Her new friends no longer want to associate with her anymore but she is not so bothered with that as she wants to find the killer. She needs to sort the guilty from the innocent, hate from love, truth from lies and expose the deepest secrets before it is late.

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